By Brent Foreman

Tacky, ugly, horrible. What do all of these adjectives describe? Ugly Christmas sweaters. It’s that time of the year again, so dig out your old ugly Christmas sweaters and get ready to rock them for a great cause!

In the past, ugly Christmas sweaters have been a trend, just a way for friends and family to have fun during the holidays. But this year, the sweater connoisseurs behind National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day have partnered with the Save the Children Foundation for a brand new campaign called “Make the World Better with a Sweater”. You may be asking yourself, “what’s the connection?” Well, the masterminds behind the holiday believe in bringing out the best in people by putting them in their worst.

The holidays are a season for giving, and “National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day” benefits the Save the Children Foundation which provides a better life for less fortunate children. Save the Children’s mission is to provide food, medical care, educational opportunities, and protection from harm to all children. They are an organization with a global reach, making an impact not just locally but internationally as well.

Save the Children is different from many other charities – more than 85 cents of each dollar donated goes directly to child services. Currently, the Save the Children Foundation is working on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and is also extremely involved in providing support to over 100,000 children arriving at our borders this year.

Currently, over 4,000 children have been affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Many of the children have lost one or both of their parents to this infectious disease. Children who are not infected with Ebola face a bleak future of isolation and fear because people shun them in fear of contagion. These Ebola-affected children have no one to feed them, hold them, or even provide clean clothes for them – which is where Save the Children comes in.

Save the Children also has a direct influence on the border crisis. 100,000 children are expected to arrive at our borders from Mexico and Central America every year. These innocent children are being brought by their parents or families attempting to escape the deadly violence and economic instability which threatens their lives. These children arrive at our borders with no food and only the possessions they can carry. The U.S. Border Patrol facilities are overwhelmed with taking care of these children, many of whom are infants and toddlers. The Save the Children Foundation uses donations to provide food, shelter, clothing and supervision for these less fortunate kids.

There are tons of ways to get involved with National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Ugly Christmas sweater parties are an excellent way to raise awareness for December 12th’s initiative. Invite your friends, get the eggnog flowing, and encourage people to donate! You can even have a fun DIY ugly Christmas sweater by gluing ornaments and tinsels on to old sweaters.

However you choose to participate on December 12, remember to spend the day with your family and friends. A lot of times we lose sight of the importance of Christmas and get lost in the materialistic side. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is about giving back and having fun while doing it. Remember, stay ugly!